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Giuseppe Verdi


June 15–24, 2012

The Delaware Valley Opera presents Giuseppe Verdi's monumental opera, Otello, based on William Shakespeare's tragedy, Othello. Shakespeare's tale of a great man, carried to his downfall by volatile emotions, hastened by the treachery of others, and leading to the tragic destruction of the woman he loves, features some of the composer's most beautiful and emotionally stirring music, including Desdemona's "Willow Song." Otello will be performed with orchestra, sung in Italian with English supertitles.

Tickets: $25

Performance Dates and Venues

PLEASE NOTE: The performance on Saturday, June 16, has moved from Sullivan West Central HS to the Tusten Theater. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Friday and Saturday, June 15–16, Friday and Saturday, June 22–23, 2012, 8 p.m.
Sunday, June 24, 2012, 3 p.m. - Tusten Theater, Narrowsburg, NY

Sunday, June 17, 2012, 3 p.m. - Wallenpaupack HS, Hawley, PA

About the Opera

Otello, written by the nineteenth-century Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi, is based on William Shakespeare's great tragedy, Othello, and was first performed at La Scala in Milan in 1887.

Cast and Production Team

Conductor/Musical Director: Violetta Zabbi

Pianist: George Hemcher

Production Design and Stage Direction: Carol Castel

Chorus Master: Eileen Mackintosh

Stage Manager: Michael Celentano

Costume Designer: Nancy Hobbs

Set Painting: Kay Hines


Otello: Kevin Hanek (6/15, 6/17, 6/23), Joseph Venezia (6/16, 6/24), Erik Cardwell (6/22)

Desdemona: Kathy Geary (6/15, 6/23), Barbara Allentuch (6/16, 6/24), Eileen Mackintosh (6/17, 6/22)

Jago: Ed Moran

Cassio: John Kaneklides (6/15, 6/17, 6/23), Juan Blanco (6/16, 6/22, 6/24)

Lodovico: Tom Caltabellota (6/15, 6/17, 6/23), Georgios Papadimitriou (6/16, 6/22, 6/24)

Montano: Georgios Papadimitriou (6/15, 6/17, 6/23), Jeremy Griffin (6/16, 6/22, 6/24)

Roderigo: Dan Buccheri

Emilia: Jacqueline Rose (6/15, 6/24), Lindsey Grebeldinger (6/16, 6/22), Meredith Hudak (6/17, 6/23)

Herald: Scott Silipino


The Chorus and Orchestra of the Delaware Valley Opera

Soprano Barbara Allentuch (Desdemona), a native of New York City, has appeared in concert and opera performances with companies throughout the U.S. and Europe, including Connecticut Grand Opera, Opera Theater of New York, Bel Canto Opera, Long Island Opera Association, and with the Theaters of Lübeck, Hagen, and Oberhausen in Germany, as well as musical theater on Broadway and with Papermill Playhouse. Her many roles include Anna Bolena (Anna Bolena), Violetta (La Traviata), Liù (Turandot), Manon (Manon), Mimi and Musetta (La Boheme), Micaela (Carmen), Desdemona (Otello), Nedda (I Pagliacci), and Marguerite (Faust), and she appeared as Zaïda in the American premiere of Il Turco in Italia. return to top

Brooklyn-based tenor Juan Blanco (Cassio) has had the great pleasure to work with the New York Opera Studio, where he has had the good fortune to be mentored by the renowned comprimario tenor, Nico Castel. Performance highlights include Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Pedrillo (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Ferrando (Cosi fan tutte), and Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor). Juan currently studies with Carol Castel and Violetta Zabbi. return to top

Tenor Dan Buccheri (Roderigo) is currently a candidate for the Masters of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, under the tutelage of Neil Rosenshein. He has performed in the North American Premiere of Mascagni’s Il Piccolo Marat at Avery Fischer Hall, Die Zauberflöte (Monostatos) with New York Lyric Opera, Albert Herring (Mayor) with the Intermezzo Young Artist Program, HMS Pinafore (Ralph Rackstraw), Lucia di Lammermoor, and The Ghosts of Versailles at Manhattan School of Music. Upcoming engagements include Le nozze di Figaro (Don Basilio/Don Curzio) with OperaTuscia Festival in Rome and Viterbo, Italy. return to top

Bass Tom Caltabellotta (Lodovico) has been singing since his teen years and has performed in many regional opera companies in the Northeastern states. His repertoire includes over 70 operatic roles. He was a founder of the Lyric Quartet, a concert group that toured extensively for many years and appeared in the Italian Pavilion at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia. Mr. Caltabellotta appears regularly with the Bronx Opera Company, and has been seen at the Forestburgh Playhouse in Man of La Mancha, The Diary of Anne Frank, and in the musical Titanic. For nearly twenty years, he was well-known locally as the owner and “singer-in-residence” of the popular Dead End Café in Parksville, New York. return to top

Tenor Erik Cardwell (Otello) has performed with the Treasure Coast Opera Society, Chattanooga Symphony, New Rochelle Opera, Hispanic Lyric Opera, and Bel Canto of South Florida. He received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Covenant College, and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Miami. He has sung in master classes with Helen Donath, Elio Battaglia, and Dale Duesing, and was a voice student of Cornelius Reid. His repertoire includes Turridu in Cavalleria Rusticana and Siegfried in Wagner's Götterdämmerungreturn to top

The career of DVO General Manager and Artistic Director Carol Castel has taken her through the theater world from musical theater to opera; from actress and singer to singing actress; from arts administrator to opera stage director. Her directing career has included over 60 opera productions in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. In addition to a studio of private voice students, Ms. Castel coaches and teaches classes in acting, artistry, and performance practices for the classical singer. She is on the faculty of OperaNUOVA in Edmonton, Canada, and is the founder and General Manager of the New York Opera Studio. For more information about Ms. Castel, visit her web site at www.castelopera.com. return to top

Soprano Kathy Geary (Desdemona) began her operatic career with a stellar debut as Mimi in Puccini’s La boheme in Busseto, Italy, where tenor Carlo Bergonzi and soprano Renata Tebaldi were among her early mentors. She completed undergraduate studies in voice at Texas Christian University, and graduate work at University of North Texas, where she sang a variety of staged roles with orchestra, including Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Alice Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff, and Giorgetta in Puccini’s Il tabarro. Ms. Geary appeared with the New Jersey Concert Opera Orchestra as Siegrune in a performance of Die Walküre, as the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with Capitol Opera in Harrisburg, and as Amelia in Un ballo in maschera with Bulgaria’s Burgas Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, as well as a concert appearance at New York’s Steinway Hall with pianist Michael Fennelley, and performances of scenes from Verdi’s Otello and Wagner’s Die Walküre in a series of concerts in Austria’s Tyrolean Alps. return to top

Mezzo-soprano Lindsey Grebeldinger (Emilia) appears with the DVO this season as Emilia (Otello), Lois Lane (Kiss Me Kate), and Meg Page (Merry Wives of Windsor). and appeared as Olga in last season's production of Eugene Onegin. Other roles include the Witch (Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel), Ma Moss (Copland’s The Tender Land), Maman and The Chinese Cup (Ravel’s L’enfant et Les Sortilège), and Juno (Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld) with Hartt Opera Theatre, ZaZa in Lehar’s The Merry Widow with Delaware Valley Opera, the title role in Bizet’s Carmen with Hartt Opera Scenes, and Mrs. Nolan in Menotti’s The Medium with Connecticut Concert Opera. She sang for Marilyn Horne in a masterclass sponsored by Connecticut Concert Opera, performed as soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the New Haven Symphony, and has appeared as soloist in the Duruflé Requiem, Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, and the Brahms Alto Rhapsody. She holds a Bachelor of Music from The Hartt School, and is currently a candidate for Master of Music at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, where she is a student of Tom Baresel. return to top

A native of Colorado, bass Jeremy Griffin (Montano) recently earned his Master of Music in Opera from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, where he performed in seven operas. In the summer of 2010, he participated in performances of The Magic Flute in Prague's Estates Theater, where Mozart's Don Giovanni was originally premiered, and toured the Czech Republic in La Boheme. He attended the Banff Centre Opera Theatre Program, performing in the second world premiere of John Estacio's Lillian Alling, and earned an undergraduate degree at Portland State University. He performed the roles of Don Alfonso in Cosi Fan Tutte, Colline in La Boheme, and Pistola in Falstaff (along with Metropolitan Opera baritone Richard Zeller) under the direction of Tito Capobianco. His concert appearances include the Beethoven Mass in C, the Bach Manificat, and the "Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds" Pops Concert conducted by Arnie Roth. Recent performances include Leporello in Don Giovanni at Symphony Space in New York, and Sparafucile in this season's Rigoletto with DVO. return to top

Heldentenor Kevin Hanek’s (Otello) upcoming engagements include his debut as Loge in Wagner’s Das Rheingold in August 2012, the first installment of a new Ring cycle with St. Louis’s Union Avenue Opera. A native of Miami, Florida, Hanek’s early musical studies included work with French baritone Gérard Souzay and the great American soprano Eleanor Steber, as well as post-graduate studies at Vienna’s Hochschule für Musik with pianist Norman Shetler, who would become a lifelong friend and mentor. Prior engagements include his debut as tenor soloist in performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Reno Philharmonic, appearances as Riccardo in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera and Radamès in Aïda with Bulgaria’s Burgas Philharmonic Orchestra, and as the Majordomo in the New York premiere of Hans Werner Henze’s Das Ende einer Welt with Encompass New Opera Theater. Kevin Hanek was a Grantee of the International Festival Society in 2010 and 2012, received an Emerging Artist Grant from the Hillsborough County Arts Council for his debut recital with Norman Shetler, and performed with the Sarasota Opera as an Apprentice Artist. return to top

George Hemcher (pianist), a native of Malvern, Pennsylvania, is a candidate for the Masters in Music Piano Vocal Accompanying Degree at Manhattan School of Music, where he is a student of Thomas Muraco. Most recently, Hemcher worked on Donizetti's Lucia Di Lammermoor in Thomas Muraco's Opera Repertory Ensemble, where he worked with two other pianists in transcribing a two-piano orchestral reduction of the opera. Hemcher also holds a degree in Music Merchandising from Hofstra University, where he was an active collaborative pianist with Hofstra Opera Theater, and was the pianist for their productions of L’incoronazione di Poppea and Die Fledermaus. In 2011, Mr. Hemcher sang Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Hofstra Opera Theatre, and in 2010 he sang Dr. Blind in Strauss' Die Fledermaus. Mr. Hemcher studies voice privately with Tammy Hensrud. This season with DVO, Mr. Hemcher will also be Music Director/Conductor for Kiss Me Kate, and will be a rehearsal pianist for Merry Wives of Windsor, in which he will also be singing the role of Slender. return to top

Mezzo-soprano Meredith Hudak (Emilia) saw her first opera at age 12, and after eight years made her European debut standing next to her host family’s kitchen table in Florence (in German, natürlich). She has sung Zerlina, Mercédès, and Mallika with the American Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared at the Bard Summerscape Music Festival. Ms. Hudak is grateful to Shakespeare for many things, but especially for giving her the opportunity to say, in all seriousness, “hey, nonny, nonny.” return to top

Tenor John Kaneklides (Cassio) has been described as a “richly mellifluous tenor.” Most recently he made his debut with Pinehurst Opera Festival, where he performed Rodolfo in La bohème. Other operatic performances include Tamino in Die Zauberflöte with Central Piedmont Opera, and Triquet in Eugene Onegin and Gastone in La Traviata, both with Opera Carolina. As a Young Artist with Opera North, he portrayed Basilio in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and covered the role of Ramiro in La Cenerentola. He has also performed as tenor soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Handel’s Messiah, and Dubois’ The Seven Last Words of Christ. Kaneklides has received several vocal awards, including the Bel Canto Prize from the Orpheus Competition, an encouragement grant from the South Carolina Metropolitan Opera National Council, and was a finalist in the 2011 Nico Castel International Master Singer Competition, where he made his Carnegie Hall debut. He holds degrees in Voice and Business from Winthrop University, where he is currently a Masters of Music candidate. return to top

Soprano Eileen Mackintosh (Desdemona) is a lifelong multi-faceted musician, singer, teacher, and conductor. Recent performance highlights include the roles of Abigaille (Nabucco), Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte), Lady Macbeth (Macbeth), Aida (Aida), and Hanna Glawari (Merry Widow). She will sing the roles of Desdemona (Otello) and Alice Ford (Merry Wives of Windsor) with the Delaware Valley Opera this season. An avid concert artist, Ms. Mackintosh will present several recitals this year, including the music of Ernest Charles and the Vier Letzte Lieder of Strauss. She made her debut in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall last season, as a finalist in the Nico Castel International Master Singer Competition. Equally passionate about teaching and conducting, she maintains a full-time private voice studio, and is the Chorus Master for the DVO, and she is a frequent guest conductor for regional choral music festivals. Mackintosh earned her M.M. from the University of Connecticut and B.M. in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia. return to top

Soprano Zhanka Melnechuk (Desdemona cover) received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, and a Masters in Vocal Performance from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. While studying and performing at BGSU, she wrote a thesis on Franz Schubert entitled “Cracking the Linz Circle’s Secret Codes: A Singer’s Guide to Alternate Interpretations of Schubert Lieder.” She coaches with Valentin Peytchinov in New York City, and recently performed the role of Berta in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia for Vocal Productions NYC. return to top

Baritone Ed Moran (Jago) is an emerging young artist who is quickly becoming known for his astounding musicianship and character portrayal. He has performed across the West Coast of North America and in Europe. With an extensive and growing repertoire, Mr. Moran has been seen throughout Canada in the roles of Capulet in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, Conte Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, and most recently as Sam in Leonard Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti at the Vancouver International Fringe Festival. Praised for his "gusto and panache," Mr. Moran made his American professional debut as Benoit/Alcindoro with Opera San Luis Obispo in their 2010 production of La Bohème. He has also enjoyed introducing over 50,000 children to the world of opera with both Vancouver Opera In Schools and Opera NUOVA Outreach. He holds a Masters Degree in Opera Performance from the UBC School of Music, and a Bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Alaska in Anchorage. return to top

A native of Kastoria, a small rural town in northern Greece, bass Georgios Papadimitriou (Montano/Lodovico) began his musical studies at the age of 5, and has been a choir member of the Greek National Opera and the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation. He was accepted at the Greek National Opera Studio for the 2009–2010 season, where he covered the roles of Leporello and Don Alfonso. He is pursuing his M.M. in Vocal Performance at the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, where he has performed the roles of Sobakin in The Tsar’s Bride and Palemon in Thaïs with Brooklyn College Opera Theatre. return to top

Mezzo-soprano Jacqueline Rose (Emilia) is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education with a concentration in Voice. Previous performances include the roles of Anna Gomez in Gian Carlo Menotti's The Consul and Valencienne in Lehar's The Merry Widow. Ms. Rose has appeared as soprano soloist in the Fauré Requiem at the 2011 PMEA State Conference, and appeared as a featured soloist under the direction of composer Frank Tichelli. This is her first appearance with the Delaware Valley Opera. return to top

Tenor Scott Silipino (Herald) is a local musician, singer and copyist/arranger. He returns for his second season with the DVO performing the roles of L'Araldo (Otello), Riley & Second Suitor (Kiss Me Kate), and as a DVO Chorus member. Last season he sang the Captain (Eugene Onegin) and was a member of the chorus. Scott holds a BA in Music from Susquehanna University, where he studied under Judith White and sang the roles of Samuel Paris (Ward's The Crucible), the Mayor (Britten's Albert Herring), M. Gobineau (Menotti's The Medium) and Little Bat (Floyd's Susannah). His past teachers include Dr. David Steinau and Kay S. Hooper, and he is a current student of Eileen Mackintosh. return to top

Tenor Joseph Venezia (Otello) was a Regional Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera Auditions and a recipient of a Sullivan Foundation Award. He made his New York City debut in Carnegie Hall under the baton of Eve Queler in I Masnadieri, and has appeared under the batons of Alfredo Silipigni and Carlo Moresco, and with the New York City Opera, New Jersey State Opera, Philadelphia Grand Opera, Opera Orchestra of New York, Connecticut Grand Opera, and Inter Mountain Opera. His varied repertoire includes leading roles in Adriana Lecouvreur, Un ballo in maschera, Cavalleria Rusticana, Lucia di Lammermoor, Manon, La Traviata, Tosca, Carmen, Alceste, and Otello, as well as a recording of Leoncavallo's La Boheme for Paris Radio under Nino Buonavolota. return to top

A native of Odessa, Ukraine, Violetta Zabbi (conductor and musical director) immigrated to the United States in 1997. She received her Ph.D. from the Odessa State Academy of Music in piano performance and musicology. Currently she is vice-president and on the faculty of the Long Island Conservatory of Music, guest accompanist at Hofstra University, and rehearsal pianist and coach at Regina Opera. In 2010, Violetta performed with the Opera Manhattan Repertory Theatre in Eugene Onegin and Bergman’s Piazza Navona in 2011. Dr. Zabbi is Musical Director for the New York Opera Studio and served on the faculty of the NYOS Summer Program at Vassar for Singers and Pianists. She currently resides in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons. return to top